Flag Day!

Posted June 14, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Special Days

Tags: , , ,

Today we celebrate Flag Day. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress officially adopted the “stars and stripes” as the American flag.

flag

Flag Facts:

Flag Day was not regularly celebrated until President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress on August 3, 1949, designating June 14 as National Flag Day.

The original flag had thirteen alternating red and white stripes with red on the top and red on the bottom. In the top left-hand corner on a blue field were thirteen white stars. The stars and stripes represented the thirteen original colonies.

Red stands for hardiness and valor. White stands for innocence and purity. Blue stands for vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

Today the flag still has thirteen stripes, but there are now 50 stars on the blue field representing our 50 states.

There is no proof that Betsy Ross designed the first flag.

Nicknames for our Flag

Old Glory

The Stars and Stripes

The Star-Spangled Banner

The Red, White, and Blue

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Fly our American Flag proudly and take time to appreciate the freedoms we have.

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Knock, Knock

Posted June 7, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: , , , , , ,

A friend is what the heart needs all the time. ~Henry Van Dyke

May I Come In?  written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Jennie Poh is an engaging picture book about a thunderstorm and friendship that will delight young readers.

may i come in

When a fierce thunderstorm frightens Raccoon, he looks for safety with Possum, Quail, and Woodchuck. What bad luck! No one has room for poor Raccoon. A shimmery light in the distance catches Raccoon’s eye, and he makes his way through the storm to Rabbit’s door. When the door is opened, Raccoon sees ten little rabbits hopping and bopping about. He knows there will be no room. What good luck! Rabbit invites him in and offers him a cozy chair and warmth. As the storm rages on, there’s another knock at Rabbit’s door. Who do you think is there? Possum, Quail, and Woodchuck are looking for comfort from the scary storm. Of course, Rabbit welcomes all her friends just as it should be. Readers will enjoy Jennie Poh’s colorful illustrations and Marsha Diane Arnold’s cleverly worded text that shows how a good friend and neighbor can make room for everyone and chase storm jitters away.

 

 

 

A Story with Heart

Posted May 31, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: , , ,

umbrella

Author/illustrator Amy June Bates and her seventh-grade daughter, Juniper, came up with an idea for an inspiring picture book about an umbrella. The BIG Umbrella is spare in text, but the words and illustrations will fill your heart with warmth. The smiling umbrella welcomes all who need shelter from the rain. As the crowd grows under the umbrella so does the size of the umbrella. With each page turn, the delightful illustrations, done in watercolor, gouache, and pencil on watercolor paper, will make you smile. The final spread shows the umbrella and a diverse group of people interacting with one another. Without being preachy, Amy June Bates and her daughter have created a story about acceptance that will touch your heart.

 Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all like The Big Umbrella?

 

Remembering Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

Posted May 24, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Special Days

Tags: , , ,

 

Memorial-Day-Quotes- served

“Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, it’s honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’ a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.” ~Pete Hegseth

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“These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor – and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats and terror.” ~Michael N. Castle

some gave

“On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There
also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live.” ~ Eric Burdon

Flag

On Monday we celebrate Memorial Day. Take time to remember and honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country to protect our freedom.

 

Mary Had a Little…What?

Posted May 17, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

mary lamb

We all know Mary had a little lamb, but did you know that Mary Had a Little lab? That’s right! It seems she loves science and spends all of her time in her lab. Then one day she realizes she’s lonely and doesn’t have any friends. Being a very innovative scientist, Mary decides to create her own friend. She makes a Sheepinator machine. She adds a mixture to some sheep wool and…voilà! Out comes a very useful pet sheep. As the nursery rhyme goes, he followed her to school one day. Mary’s classmates are so impressed with her pet they want one, too. At Mary’s lab, she presses the duplicate button. It gets stuck, and suddenly, chaos ensues. Sheep, sheep everywhere! Her classmates pitch in and help fix the jam, round up the sheep, and give them to farmers. In the meantime, Mary comes up with a new idea. What is it? You’ll have to read this book to find out how Mary, her pet sheep, and her new friends work together for a successful ending to this hilarious story. Sue Fliess‘ rhyming test flows effortlessly, and readers will laugh at the entertaining illustrations by Petros Bouloubasis. This book has it all – girl power, science, innovative thinking, cooperation, and friendship. What more could you ask for?

Thought for Thursday

Posted May 10, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Writing

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Oscar+Wilde+Quote+on+Writing

John Deere, That’s Who!

Posted May 3, 2018 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Book Biographies

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It’s spring! Farmers are out plowing their fields, getting them ready to plant crops. Corn and soybean fields surrounded the town where I grew up. If you saw a green tractor, you knew immediately it was a John Deere tractor. John Deere didn’t invent the tractor, but he was instrumental in changing the design of the plow which helped make it easier for farmers to cultivate their land.

deere

If you want to know more about John Deere, the book, John Deere, That’s Who! written by Tracy Nelson Maurer and illustrated by Tim Zeltner is a perfect choice. John Deere was a blacksmith originally from Vermont. In 1836, he took his tools and headed west for a new start. He found a job as a blacksmith in Illinois where he fixed all kinds of things, including plows. The “thick, rich soil” stuck to the farmers’ plows and made their jobs very difficult. Their complaints made John think about creating a plow where the soil wouldn’t stick. John worked hard and after many tries, he finally fashioned a shiny steel plow that would cut through the soil and make plowing easier and faster. That was the beginning of John Deere’s company. Tim Zeltner’s beautiful illustrations and landscapes reminiscent of Grandma Moses art complement Tracy Nelson Maurer’s delightful story about John Deere’s venture into making plows.

 


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